Google Ranks San Antonio Fourth In Rooftop Solar Potential

Mar 15, 2017

San Antonio ranks fourth nationally for roof-based solar potential according to Google's Project Sunroof.

Project Sunroof expanded into Texas and seven other states Tuesday and now offers their rooftop analysis to consumers in all 50 states. The company says on its blog it has analyzed the roofs of 60 million buildings in the U.S.

 Just type in your address and using satellite imagery from Google Maps & Google Earth along with 3-D modeling and machine learning, they calculate the hours of usable sunlight per year based on weather and other variables, the space available for panels and if you're roof is a good fit for the technology.  

 Jason Pittman is on the board of Build San Antonio Green and runs Go Smart Solar -- a residential and commercial solar provider. He says they use a similar product on their website to educate consumers and thinks that Google getting into the game of helping demystify the costs and benefits is good for the whole city.

Credit GoSmartSolar.com

"I mean this was our goal, right? We have a very similar tool. And that's the reason why we built the tool was to raise awareness, transparent pricing models, customer education. So we're very optimistic that tools like this are going to help our community."

 Houston was ranked first in the country in solar potential with 18,940 gigawatt-hours. It is followed by Los Angeles and Phoenix, but Pittman believes that if you were to add a metric dealing with electricity provider rebates, San Antonio would leap to the front of the line. 

Credit Google Project Sunroof

"If you live in a deregulated market you buy your electricity from what they call a retail electricity provider and the majority of them don't offer a solar rebate."

With CPS being regulated and municipally owned it has opted to build a robust incentive program over the years.

Project Sunroof calculates that if the top 10 cities listed reached full rooftop solar capacity they could power eight million homes.